Content marketing is necessary for your business to remain relevant. If you don’t promote your business in any way, shape or form, there is only one result… Nothing. Whether you’re a start-up or new to marketing your business and on a mission to get new leads coming in, content can and will help you succeed.
So, how do you go about it without it costing the earth?
To begin with, it’s important to consider the different types of content you can create. These include:
- Social media posts & stories
- Blog posts & news articles
- Case studies
- Guides, white papers & e-books
- Memes, photos & graphics
- Press releases
- Training materials
- Presentations & SlideShares
- Paid ads & remarketing
Before you consider selecting the one content type you want to run with, remember this – no one activity or content type can work in isolation.
Gary Vaynerchuk wrote a great article about creating content, but also repurposing it and distributing it across various social channels. In the article, he states that for a business to be relevant in the long term, they need to consider putting out 100+ pieces of content. That may sound daunting, but it’s actually much easier than you may think.
Don’t overthink content creation
I often speak with business owners and professionals who’re reluctant to create and share content. They’re scared that no one will engage with their content… Or… that someone actually will! Either way, you’ve got to start somewhere. So, if you don’t get traction to begin with, don’t fret. There are ways to amplify content and encourage engagement, which we discuss further down this article, but consistency is key, so be sure to keep creating and sharing content. On the other hand, if someone comments, likes or shares your content, that’s great news! It means they are genuinely interested, which can only be a good thing!
One area people tend to struggle with is what to actually share and where. But, don’t overthink it. If you do, a piece of content that could take you a few minutes to create could take your hours, even days, and eventually result in you putting it off once again, which is a huge drain on your time and essentially costs you money!
Also, don’t think that you have to reinvent the wheel every time to create a piece of content. Consider this, from one blog post we created, we created four social media posts across personal and company accounts and then sent an email to the software company we mentioned in the post to see if they’d share it too. That’s all from one blog post! What’s more, from this example, you can see how different types of content work hand in hand.
Implementing a winning strategy
If you want to harness the many benefits of content marketing, which include increased rankings and traffic, reputation and leads, you’ve got to make a plan that’s achievable with the resource and budget you have available.
We’ve created an example of a content calendar to help you get started, which you can find here >
Within this content calendar, we’ve laid out a structure for you to work towards. We’ve broken each business quarter into months and then weekly activity. Each month we’ve identified what the theme is and whether there’s a particular event on that we need to consider when creating content.
High-Tier Content refers to more in-depth content pieces that tend to require more research, survey data and/or interviews. We use the theme and high-tier content to influence the various other forms of content planned in throughout the month, including off-page content and PR.
We recommend creating a similar plan for your business, creating a list of content and titles you’d like to address throughout the year. What’s important to note, is that if you create a blog, video or e-book, be sure to distribute it. Send an email to your customers and prospects to let them know about it, share it on social media and contact relevant industry websites to see if they are interested in either sharing it or maybe accepting a follow-up piece on their site. This is how you amplify the impact of your content, reaching out to existing and new audiences via the various platforms to encourage engagement.
Creating targeted content
To get the most out of the content you create, you need to make sure it’s on target. How do you do this? Firstly, you have to identify your target audience, understand their problems, concerns, where they get their information from. Paint a picture of them in order to target them and speak to them directly through the content you create.
We also recommend identifying relevant keywords your business should be found in search engines for – essentially what your target audience is “Googling”. Long-tail keywords and phrases are the best to target to get the results you want – increased rankings, traffic and leads. An example of this would be “content marketing company in Peterborough” or “content marketing on a limited budget” rather than simply “content marketing”. You can shape some of the content you create around these key terms. Google Search Console will be able to provide you with keywords and phrases your website ranks for in search, along with those you can target.
It’s also worth checking out your competitors. Find out how well the content your competitors create performs by using a tool such as BuzzSumo.com. You can then replicate it, but whatever you do, do not copy it. Google does not approve of duplicate content.
Another great tool for monitoring both the performance of your competitors, along with your own is SEMRush.com. This tool allows you to do a multitude of things, including identifying keywords you should rank for and where your competitors are positioned.
Onwards and upwards
Once you’ve started creating content, keep it up. There’s nothing worse than visiting a company’s social media and seeing their last post was over a year ago, but if their competitor posted yesterday – who are you more likely to contact?
It’s not rocket science.
What’s more, your content plan doesn’t have to be set in stone, it’s simply something to keep you on target, something to work towards, but if there’s something newsworthy that you want to create content about, do that. Run with it. Be topical. Share information your audience want to read. Address their problems and concerns.
If you’re unsure about what content you want to write, there’s a book called “They Ask, You Answer” by Marcus Sheridan, that I recommend you read. It’s easy to understand and digest. It also makes you realise how easy it is to create content for your ideal customers. You already have so many of the answers to what content to produce.
What’s the cost implications?
Content marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does take time. If you don’t have the budget to outsource writing content or the creation of videos, for example, get training. Learn some of the tricks of the trade and just outsource the bits you really can’t do. You may want to consider investing in consultancy to ensure the content you do create internally is benefitting you and able to reach as many relevant people as possible.
What’s more, when you begin implementing your content marketing strategy, don’t do everything all at once. It’s expensive and often it’s not manageable. Gradually increase the amount of content you create and add different content types to the mix as your confidence and budget increases.
If you need support with your content marketing strategy, SEO or PPC, get in touch with us today >